Stone House at Stirling Ridge Wedding | New Jersey Wedding Photographer | Ashley and Doug
Ashley and Doug’s wedding at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge was absolutely breathtaking and magnificent in every way. Surrounded by their closest family and friends, Ashley and Doug celebrated their wedding day in style! I was completely blown away by all of the detail that went into planning their big day and how many important family and religious traditions they were able to include throughout the day. It was such a personal and beautiful day!!
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ashley and Doug in Hoboken, where they live, for an amazing engagement session around the town. I loved exploring the city that they call home and have so many special memories in. Doug popped the question in Hoboken at their apartment last fall surrounded by all their family and friends! You can see more about their beginnings of a love story on their engagement blog here.
To start the wedding day, I went to the Embassy Suites where Ashley was getting ready with her mom, future mother-in-law and bridesmaids. When I arrived, I was so excited to hear that everything was ahead of schedule! This seems to be the theme for my fall weddings and I am absolutely loving it! I quickly started gathering Ashley‘s details including her ring, dress, shoes, stationery and all the little things in between so I could photograph them before the girls wrapped up their hair and makeup.
One of the most special details was Ashley‘s moms wedding band which Ashley was going to use during the ceremony. Her mom was married with this wedding band and her grandfather actually made it! So special! After we were done in the hair and makeup room, we all went out to the lobby for Ashley to share a first look with her Dad. I absolutely love first looks with the bride and her Dad, and this one was no different.
As soon as we were done with the father-daughter first look, it was time to head over to the venue for Ashley‘s first look with Doug! This was the moment I was looking forward to all day! We put Doug in place in front of the beautiful mirror wall at the venue and as soon as Ashley arrived on the shuttle we brought her to the spot where it was going to happen. I had Doug turn around when Ashley was a few feet away from him and his reaction was priceless! But, how could it not be? Ashley was absolutely stunning! Her dress and her veil where some of the most stunning bridal attire I have ever seen. She was absolutely radiant all day!
After their first look, we stayed by the mirror wall to do a few more portraits before moving to the other side of the courtyard where we took pictures in front of the beautiful wood slat wall. The venue is a restaurant so we were actually shooting in their outdoor dining area. But, because it’s so cold out this area wasn’t actually open. Ashley and Doug were such troopers in the cold!
After their portraits, we went to the other side of the venue where they have a patio area to do wedding party and family formals. It was freezing and windy so the patio heaters were our saving Grace during this portion of the day! I need to give a special shout out to the wedding party for gearing up for the cold and bearing the wind and the bitterness so that Ashley and Doug could have all of these beautiful pictures! It was cold but so so worth it! After all the formal pictures were done everyone went inside to warm up. Then, some of the beautiful Jewish traditions started to unfold.
The first thing on the agenda after everyone went to their ceremony rehearsal was the Ketubah signing. This is the Jewish marriage license and it’s written in Hebrew. It was a beautiful watercolor document where Ashley, Doug, their officiant, and their witnesses all signed together. The Hebrew writing said a beautiful sentiment about marriage and their relationship. It makes me wish that every marriage license was just as beautiful as this.
After the signing, we had a bit of a break before the ceremony started where we photographed all of the details before the guests started entering the space. Once the ceremony was ready to begin, we joined the guests in the indoor/outdoor ceremony space for what was going to be something truly beautiful to witness.
Ashley and Doug’s friend Ben was the officiant for the wedding. He did a beautiful job with the ceremony. There were Jewish traditions interlaced throughout the ceremony. The Chuppah, symbolizing the home they are building together, that Ashley and Doug stood under was absolutely stunning. Once they arrived at the Chuppah and they performed the tradition of circling. Following that, Ben recited the Sheva B’rachot in Hebrew, which are seven Hebrew blessings, and all of the family members recited them afterward in English. Following this, Ashley and Doug exchanged their vows with their parents and siblings standing by their side at the Chappah. When it was all finished, I could not stop thinking how beautiful the whole ceremony felt from beginning to end.
After the ceremony, everyone moved to the cocktail hour area. While everyone enjoyed the cocktail hour, I was able to capture all the photos of the reception and the beautiful reception details. The head table was amazing!! It was set against this gorgeous arbor doorway that was draped with flowers that had been threaded through fishing wire. It was honestly one of the most stunning things I have seen at a wedding reception.
Once everyone had finished the cocktail hour, they moved inside to the reception area. The toasts given by Ashley’s sister, Doug’s brother, and both Doug and Ashley parents were incredibly personal and beautiful. Ashley and Doug’s parent both met at Camp Monroe, a summer camp in New York (the same camp that Ashley and Doug would attend in their teen years). So their parents have been friends since they were 18! This connection is what brought everyone together that day and it was so special to see how this lifelong friendship evolved into their children’s lives!
The last part of the evening started with the tradition of the Hora, or the time when the bride and groom are raised in the air in chairs by their wedding guests. Not only did Ashley and Doug do the Hora but both sets of parents were raised in the air by their guests to kick off the celebrations! The jam-packed dance floor did not empty out ALL night. Their band, the Original Faze 4, were amazing and had everyone in the crowd having the best time!
As I write this, I cannot stop thinking about all of the small, perfect details that made up every minute of this day. I had such an amazing time celebrating with Ashley, Doug, their families, and friends. Everything was planned to a T and made for an amazing day of celebration and tradition. I feel so honored to have been asked to photograph all the details of Ashley and Doug’s day and join in the celebrations. I know that the future is going to be full of adventure and love for these two!
Palermo’s Bakery – Wedding Cake
Jaehee Bridal Atelier – Bride’s Dress Boutique
Jaehee Bridal Atelier – Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique
Hayley Paige – Bridesmaids Dresses Designer
Bloomingdales – Groom Attire
Mens Warehouse – Groomsmens Attire
Marquis Florals by Kim – Florist
The Original Faze4 – Band/DJ & Ceremony Music
Ever After Studio – Videographer
Abby Opdyke – Hair Artist
Fanci Girl – Makeup Artist
Stylish Print & Design Gallery – Stationary Design
Stonehouse at Stirling Ridge – Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
Ben Teitelbaum – Officiant
Marquis Florals by Kim – Lighting
Stonehouse at Stirling Ridge– Linens
Embassy Suites Berkeley Heights- Transportation